Why is load management so important for athletes?

Managing how hard athletes’ workout is becoming a crucial element in every sport. Athletes need to work hard to increase their fitness and performance, but at the same time they should not be working so hard that they overtrain and get an injury. There is a fine balance that coaches need to take with athletes to get it ride. The whole concept of load management is athlete was the subject of an episode of the popular livestream for podiatrists called PodChatLive. In that episode the hosts talked to Tim Gabbett who consults widely across numerous elite sporting codes worldwide about load management of athletes. In the episode he talked about what load actually is, how different people respond to it and how it can be progressed safely to get the best out of the athlete without them getting an injury. The biggest clinical application of this for clinicians is clearly how it should influence their history taking of injured athletes by asking about previous weeks load along with psychosocial factors that may influence load capacity. The importance of how they can advise their patients to monitor their own load in a free and easy way. They also touched on the limitations of the “10% rule”.

Dr Tim Gabbett, PhD has over 20 years experience working as an practical applied sport scientist with athletes and coaches from a very wide range of different sports. Tim holds a PhD in Human Physiology from 2000 and has completed a second PhD in the Applied Science of Professional Football in 2011. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and has presented at over 200 national and international conferences. Tim has worked with elite international athletes over many Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games cycles. He continues to work as a sport science and as a coaching consultant for several high performance teams around the world.

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